Death Be Not Proud

Michael says: In this week’s tale weaver I’m asking you to consider the concept of death in a way that you relate to.  What does it mean to you?  Your experience could be the death of a family member, a loved one, a neighbour.  It could be a death as in the end of a relationship.  You could use it as my mother used to say: “You’ll be the death of me.”

In your writing explore your feelings towards whatever issue you explore… is not an easy topic for many to write about and there is a finality about it….not many return to tell us of their experiences…You could even explore the concept from death’s point of view.  Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver.”

It occurred to her that there had been more deaths

In her life than she sometimes realized…

Perhaps because they all began with the premier

Mystery:  the presumed-death, lost-at-sea, no-body-

Recovered one; secretive circumstances and aftermath

Which impacted her like slow-metastasizing cancer for

The rest of her life—as He was her father, and her molester.


After her mother remarried and they moved

With equal haste and mystery to a new state,

A neighbor’s young child who’d succumbed to

Leukemia was the first dead body she viewed—

A beautiful angel, death’s image lovely and peaceful.


The most traumatic visitation by Death was a savage

Murder:  her teenage school friend, an innocent girl killed

By a classmate, no less.  Grief eclipsed by terror, it

Would follow her to another state and home as a

Pernicious breathing-dragon; fear that one day the

Guy would be out in the world again, and find her—

Slashing, stabbing, leaving her naked, the same as Kay.


Added to the chaotic, angry tumult of her brief marriage,

Was the death—in her presence—of an elderly neighbor she’d

Agreed to look in on each evening.  Though not unexpected,

The passing was sudden; frightening, to observe her facial

Rictus as Death seized the old woman.


Later, neither her step-father nor mother could

Out-run Death.  When they died, she would feel

Nothing—no sorrow, no loss—she missed them not

At all.  They were always strangers to her heart;

Their absence, freeing.


But when more years rolled on, relocating her again,

Yet another neighbor was spirited away by angels

In the night, and she knew the crashing devastation

Of Death as Thief.  Seeing the Christmas card and

Fruitcake she’d left at Tim’s door—tossed in the

Planter by authorities who came to remove his body—

She felt robbed of her purpose in the small courtyard.

And, too, the ache of gaping emptiness; with a piercing

Sharp envy that she didn’t die that same night, to savor

Release from life’s struggles.  She often imagined Tim

Healed and whole, smiling on her from Heaven.


Folded in with these deaths and others, was the passing of

The love of her life.  He’d never known her, really; they

Exchanged only a few brief notes across miles of ocean.

32 years her senior and long married, he was

The hero of her childhood—and forever. 

Love, even unrequited, has magical properties: 

Denying his death, she preserved him young

And virile in her heart…unencumbered…a

Ghost more true, romantic, attentive and fascinating,

Than any man she’d met face to face.


Death takes, and it gives; imprisons, and looses. 

It leaves us hanging…or provides a secure tether. 

Death is filled with neither more, nor less enigma than

Life with its tripping pulse-beat, and infinite peculiarities.

Death is not the “end”, merely the door to life Hereafter.


Bought by the shed Blood of Christ at Calvary,

My destined Home is sealed and certain

In the Presence of God’s eternal glory—

There, joyful hearts wait to welcome me.

©Jael Sook, 2017 All rights reserved.

Image credit: Pixabay

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4 thoughts on “Death Be Not Proud

  1. from the title, I remember the power of words by both Donne and Gunther – from the verse, I remember the unspeakable tragedies that tried and tested you, dear friend – from the reverence, I remember the healing blessedness that has rescued a truly good soul


    • Such a lovely heartfelt comment, Paul–thank you. I couldn’t resist using the title–as Gunther’s book has stayed with me, and Donne’s work too. I can’t thank you enough for your words that touch the core of my soul. I believe you would agree that we each need rescuing daily–and that the God we know intimately is glad and faithful to do so. Much “proper, sisterly” love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

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